Category Archives: Flowers

Tulip Magnolias in Bloom

It’s not yet spring, but Tulip Magnolias started blooming throughout the greater Charleston, SC area at the end of January.

Tulip Magnolia Blossom
Tulip Magnolia Blossom

We had a few days in the high 70s (around 25 C) last week and the blossoms popped out like crazy.

Tulip Magnolia Blossom
Tulip Magnolia Blossom

The daytime temperatures have since dropped back to more seasonable mid 60s (15C). I’d like to think we’re past having an overnight freeze, which would turn these beauties into black disappointment. However, two years ago we had a hard frost at the end of March so I won’t hold my breath.

Top of Tulip Magnolia Tree
Top of Tulip Magnolia Tree

Late Season Blooms

The Charleston area daylight is down to 10 hours as we approach the last week until winter solstice, technically December 21, which I like to think of as “making the turn”.¬† The flowers still in bloom stretch to get what sun they can.

Flower reaching for the sun
Flower reaching for the sun

These pink ones, Gerber Daisies I think, were surprisingly robust with very little actual plant to support them.

Pink flowers reaching for the sun
Pink flowers reaching for the sun

Roses will form buds and flower throughout the winter here, although they often don’t make much of a showing as a blossom when the temperatures flirt with freezing over night.

Rose bud reaching for the sun
Rose bud reaching for the sun

Flower Color

Today I’m sharing a few random flower images taken over the last month around the swamp. These Swamp Sunflowers are growing on a floating clump on one of the ponds.

Swamp Sunflowers
Swamp Sunflowers

We have not yet had a hard freeze and a few late lilies are still blooming, if a little bedraggled.

Spider Lily
Spider Lily

I don’t know what this one looked like in bloom, but I liked the wispy fluff around the drying stalk.

Gone to Seed
Gone to Seed

Labyrinth: Yellow Path

The paths of the labyrinth at Mepkin Abby are currently created by a planting of yellow flowers, mostly Swamp Sunflowers,¬†Helianthus angustifolius. Seen from the Abby’s entrance road it looks like an unkempt field of wildflowers.

Labyrinth From Road
Labyrinth From Road

As you get closer the entrance to the labyrinth invites you in, where you are surrounded by peaceful yellow. In many places the flowers were up to my shoulders.

Entrance to the Labyrinth
Entrance to the Labyrinth

In early October the sunflowers and grasses were heavy with blooms, some sagging into the path.

Labyrinth Path
Labyrinth Path

I saw the sign after I had exited the path. I could see I made it about half way before feeling closed in, stepping over the edge in a thin spot along the back. I didn’t realize how many insects there would be and how many unknown plants I would need to brush up against. Long pants and sleeves would have been a good choice for this journey except it was 90 degrees F (32 C).

Labyrinth Sign
Labyrinth Sign – “It is solved by walking.”

From Mepkin Abby materials:

Mepkin Abby is a community of Roman Catholic monks established in 1949 on the site of the historic Mepkin Plantation on the Cooper River, north of Charleston, SC. The grounds and gardens are open daily to the public as part of their commitment to share their land.

This labyrinth is a seven circuit pattern and is a unicursal line that winds around itself with no dead ends. Follow the line all the way to the center, then reverse direction to exit.